By Deborah J. Lindsey
Maggie kicked the "For Sale" sign. "I won't be sharin' me home again, you hear me, Shaun. I won't do it!"
"Maggie, darlin', cheer up. Come into the light so I can see you."
"You couldn't see me, Shaun O'Larlain, if you had eyes in your head, which you don't."
Maggie floated into the orchard and settled on a wooden bench under a gnarled apple tree. Her fingers found the hearts carved with their initials.
"I see you, Maggie love, just as you were the day I carved those, but I couldn't do this back then."
He grinned and whooshed through the wooden center of the larger heart and appeared on the other side, a disembodied head. He landed in his wife's lap.
"I ain't got no body," the head sang as it bounced across the orchard.
"Shaun, you fool, come back here! Shaun!"
Shaun sat down and grasped the air where Maggie's hand rested. He felt the warm pressure of her flesh, but she had no flesh. He touched her hair and kissed her eyes, but she had no eyes and her long brown hair had melted away years ago.
"How can we be, Shaun? The pair of us, still livin' and lovin' and yet buried together on the hill? How did we come to be spirits a'hauntin' our own sweet home?"
"I've no answers, Maggie girl. C'mon. Let's go in, I feel a chill in me bones."
Maggie sighed and leaned against him. "You got no bones, beloved, you and I are but memories, left behind and forgotten. You were right about the girl, she wern't the one, the one who's to put our lives into words. I tried so hard with her. I really did, but the girl had no spirit, no curiosity and that screamin' noise she called music must have addled her brain.
"Maggie, don't go beatin' yourself . Our writer will come and we will know her. She will learn of us and our tale will be told. C'mon, me girl, inside with you. There's a banshee moon a-risin' and I don't like the look of it."
Maggie followed Shaun into the house, closed the door and turned the key in the lock, 'to keep good things in and bad things out'. She knew Shaun was smiling in the darkness. He teased her about keeping the old ways, but she knew he guarded his memories, too. Maggie braided her hair, pulled on her night dress, then snuggled into the feather bed beside her husband.
She waited until Shaun's breathing quieted, then slipped downstairs to the tiny room behind the staircase. The three diaries, hers, her mother's and grandmother's still lay secure in the iron box. She unbound the leather straps and slipped into the past.
Shaun's excited shouts echoed through the pages, pulling her abruptly back.
"Come, me Maggie, see what the mornin's brought us."
They clung to each other as the ancient taxi sputtered up the long drive.
C Copyright 1991 by Deborah J. Lindsey